Hot swap SATA hardrive on SBS2003

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by GJ, May 8, 2005.

  1. GJ

    GJ Guest

    A friend has a Dell server running SBS2003. He wants to use a harddrive
    backup solution but I am not that good with hardware so please help.
    There are no spare SATA slots on his MB.

    He has some new SATA harddrives spare and would like to be able to hot
    swap them on his server. What hardware would be good to add another
    SATA slot so he can hotswap. Another option is a USB2 SATA external HD
    bay but I am not sure of the speed of data transfer over USB2. He
    typically will be backing up 30Gb twice a week. Also, I have not found a
    SATA external USB HD bay for sale in NZ anywhere.

    I have found items like but this adds 4
    slots and he only needs one and it is a raid controller too. Also, a lot
    of hardware does not seem to run on SBS2003. In know the cheap $40 PCI
    SATA card from Dick Smiths didnt anyway.

    I appreciate any help regarding hardware.

    FYI, this has all come about because of a power failure to his server.
    Please bear in mind I am not that hot with hardware and OS management.

    His Dell server has 2 SATA 70Gb HD in a Raid 1 array.
    The raid was controlled by Adaptec raid timumagigy.
    After the power failure the server would not boot, both HD okay but the
    "Raid Bios is missing" error was the issue.
    I discovered one of the HD had no data later than April 19. The other HD
    was up to date, April 30.
    I ghosted a copy the up to date HD to a new SATA HD to save his data as
    a lot was not backed up anywhere else.
    I tried using the Repair/Rebuild raid tool but it failed so I
    reinstalled SBS2003 and reloaded his data across the network, very slow.

    Dell have been quite good but I know very little about Raid and would
    like to know why/how this failure happenned.


    GJ, May 8, 2005
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  2. GJ

    thing Guest

    There are some proper hotswap trays that allow 3 disks in a 2 x 5.25inch
    pair of slots and 5 disks in 3 x 5.25inch slots from memory. These are
    either ide or sata, you will need a seperate pci controller, hwraid, not

    An alternative is external firewire disk packs using software raid, I
    assume the sbs2003 will do that.

    USB sucks for serious data transfer, IMHO, dont even think about it for
    a file server.


    thing, May 9, 2005
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  3. GJ

    GJ Guest

    This is just for backup from the server to a HD. The HD will be stored
    offsite. The USB or SATA drive I am doing will not be part of the file
    server at all.

    GJ, May 9, 2005
  4. GJ

    Tim Guest

    Get an external USB2 (or firewire) box and bung the drive in that. Only
    problem here is getting one that takes a SATA drive. For a backup this is a
    fine setup. The performance of the disc drive in the box will not be 1st
    grade, but that is not its purpose. Its purpose is for reliable backups
    first and last.

    Do Not forget about off site backups! There is no point in having backups if
    they are stolen at the same time.

    I suggest you get a copy of SBS2003 (trial) and rehearse installation on
    RAID 1, failing a raid disc by pulling it out at run time, and stuffing up
    the RAID config somehow (not that easy when you want to). You could save a
    lot of heartache with a little practice although I admit it is time

    Ask MS nicely and they may send a trial of SBS2003 to you if you need one.

    - Tim
    Tim, May 9, 2005
  5. GJ

    GJ Guest

    Thanks Tim, already done that. As I could not repair the Raid array I
    did a fresh install of SBS2003. The CD that comes with the Dell server
    configures the HD and Raid automatically then you plug in the SBS2003
    discs nad click the buttons. It is pretty simple.

    For his server all his files that need backing up including his MDAEMON
    mail server, reside on the D partition. The OS is on the C partition. By
    backing up the entire D drive all his files that ensure the continuity
    of his business are saved.

    He will be backing up on Saturday and Wednesday with the backup disks
    taken to his home. We are taking his old server so he can plug the
    backup HD into it. This allows him to confirm everything offsite and he
    can work, Pagemaker, Freehand, Word, offsite if necessary.

    Thanks foryour comments to date.

    GJ, May 9, 2005
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